The Best There Is, The Best There Was, And The Best There Ever Will Be
With the sudden news of Hart's prostate cancer, I would like to take the chance to write a review about one of my all time favorite Hart matches, that being his 1991 Summerslam encounter with Mr. Perfect for the intercontinental championship, the match that you could argue put Hart on the map as a single's wrestler. Prostate cancer may be considered a less serious cancer than others in terms of chances of killing you but it is still a cancer and hopefully, Bret overcomes the cancer just like Kenta Kobashi and comes back stronger than ever. If anyone could do it, it would be The Hitman. I was also saddened to hear the news of the death of Axl Rotten at age 44. From the interviews I have watched, he seemed like a very likable guy who has passed away too soon. My deepest condolences to his family and the fans who cheered for him and gave him the energy and love that supported him through his wrestling career.
Bret Hart vs Mr. Perfect (Intercontinental Championship Match)
Quick interview before the match from Perfect who runs down Bret claiming to be a champion you have to be Perfect and there is only one Mr. Perfect and you ain't him. Bret's music plays as he will enter first, awaiting the arrival of the champion. Love the early version of his theme as the camera pans over the crowd and we see Bret's father and mother. Perfect enters with his coach and proudly displays his title in the face of Hart, taunting him before the bell rings and the match begins. Lock up with Hart gaining the advantage with a shoulder block and hiptoss, sending Perfect to the outside to regroup and rethink his approach to this match. Crucifix pin by Hart, only gets a two count as he transitions back into a headlock, leaving Perfect frustrated as he resorts to hair pulling to slow down his quicker opponent. Crossbody and sunset flip by Hart as he continues to get the better of Perfect. Monsoon and Piper on commentary are hyping up how important the match is for Bret's career with his parents being present at ringside and the opportunity of winning the prestigious intercontinental championship.
Perfect momentarily gains control with a knife edge chop and a scoop slam before Hart cuts him off and sends him to the outside with a big clothesline. Perfect says screw this match and decides to walk to the back but Hart isn't going to let him get away so he chases Perfect and drags him back into the ring. Cheap shot by Perfect who is now in control, kicks to a downed Bret Hart lead to Perfect sending Hart crashing into the guard rail from the apron. Perfect brings the pain with hard Irish whips and more knife edge chops before he tosses Bret from one side of the ring to the other by his hair! More chops follow before Perfect sets up for The Perfect Plex. He drops Hart and hooks the leg for the pin 1...2.. Hart Kicks Out! No one had ever kicked out of Perfect's finishing move, Perfect is reduced to a state of shock as he cannot believe that Hart has kicked out of his move. Bret runs through his offense of backbreakers and Russian leg drops diving elbow etc but Perfect will not be put away with these moves. Realizing this, Hart attempts a sharpshooter before being interrupted by the coach who pays for his meddlesome ways with a right hand to the face.
Perfect seizes on the opening and attacks Bret stomping on his gut and trying a leg drop. However, Bret catches his leg and locks in the sharpshooter before Perfect taps out in the middle of the ring. The ending is abrupt, almost happening unexpectedly due to Perfect's instant submission and Hart's slow appliance of the sharpshooter due to him being on his back and not on a vertical base but the crowd reaction overshadows these minor nitpicks. They loved Bret and their hero achieved what they wished for him to do and they could not have been happier.
A short review more like a mini update but I felt I had to pay tribute/support Bret in some way/shape of form so I reviewed a match that I feel is overshadowed by matches with Owen, Michaels, and Austin. Good luck in your fight Bret!